by Gargs Allard
On Friday, November 30, my wife and I walked from our home near downtown Gainesville to Heartwood Soundstage, just in time to catch flipturn performing with Bobby Kid to a standing room only crowd, packed with mostly Millennials and Generation Z’ers. That’s how we get to do it in this music mecca of a town, but this show was no ordinary show – even for Gainesville. And Heartwood is no ordinary venue.
When flipturn hit the stage after an intriguing, even a compelling performance by Bobby Kid (it was the first time I ever heard them), I looked around and noticed there were groups of girls in the audience singing the lyrics of Dillon Basse and flipturn word for word, as if they had lived and felt the lyric sometime before in their relatively short years of romance.
“We don’t talk about it/We don’t have the time/We thought love was something/We weren’t meant to find/But now you’re a stranger/And I’m still July/But don’t you remember/August, honey, you were mine.”
The band flipturn is becoming a bona fide sensation.
In a recent interview on my show, The Gargsville Radio Hour, Dillon said he likes to talk about traveling in his songs. With references like “California – I’m OK,” “I’m going to Chicago,” “See the sun rise on the east coast/See it set in San Francisco,” and “I’ll get high in Colorado with some folks I don’t even know” you can feel Dillon’s life and travels come alive in his songs.
When the band played “Hippies” from their latest EP, Citrona, nearly the whole crowd joined in at the chorus, “But you were such a fucking hippie,” and then Dillon continued, “A counter-culture baby/So fucking trippy/Straight from the 60’s/Well, we could have been hippies/But oh – I lost you.”
As for the band, Dillon included, they are friends that play quite tight together – led by the lively and creative guitar of Tristan Duncan (I get the feeling he is like Mike Campbell to Dillon’s Tom Petty), the driving rhythm section of Madeline Jarman on bass and Adrian Walker on the drums, the charming auxiliary vocals, synth and occasional guitar of Taylor Allen, and the star quality vocals and songwriting of Dillon Basse.
Dillon sounds somewhere in between Damien Rice and Geddy Lee. No wonder why the drummer, Adrian Walker, who’s a big Rush fan, ended up drumming for this band.
And when it comes to their fans, both women and men really like this guy, kind of like Bruce Springsteen appeal, he’s a man for all genders.
With the band ranging from age 19 to 21, one may wonder where they get their influences from. Well, a large part of it is from their parents, who apparently heartily approve of their children’s rock n’ roll endeavors and aspirations. In fact, Madeline’s parents came up with the name flipturn – partly because she’s a swimmer.
Basse (pronounced like the fish) who is from the Boston area originally, happened to be standing next to me within the large crowd when Bobby Kid was on, and tapped me on the shoulder to both say hello and glowingly approve of my Red Sox hat. I said him finding me in such a large crowd, wearing the hat of his favorite team, which had just won the World Series, was a good omen for their show that night. He laughed and it turned out true.
Perhaps their most rocking number of the night was “Churches.” In short, it kicked ass. But to describe it more, the catchy guitar riff was born out of Tristan’s knowledge of jazz, and Dillon’s refrain lyric shows his longing to live his passion of music in life, “I wanted to feel wanted, like I had a contagious soul” is beautiful.
Other artists have written similar ideas about finding your “church” in your own life’s passion. In “You Can’t Kill Rock n’ Roll,” Ozzy Osbourne sang, “Leave me alone, don’t want your promises no more/Cause rock n’ roll is my religion and my law.”
Similarly,Tom Petty also sung “How about a cheer for all those bad girls/And all those boys that play that rock ‘n’ roll/They love it just like you love Jesus/It does the same thing to their souls.”
Finally, and there are many more examples, Don Henley sings in “Goodbye to a River”: I make a church out of words/As the years dull my senses/And I try to hold on to the world that I knew/I struggle to cross generational fences/And the beauty that still remains-I can touch it through you.”
When Dillon sings, “Religion left the building ’bout an hour ago,” and “Woah, oh – we’re all searching for grace” you know he knows a little something about the human spirit, and that he has been chosen as a vessel to bring a little more truth and beauty into a world that sorely needs it.
If “Churches” came in first place, it had a lot of competition from tunes like “Vanilla” – which they played to end the show after the encore, and “Six Below,” which questions the very meaning life when we notice we’re just going through the same cycle of birth and death that our parents went through: I know what everybody knows/Die young or you can grow old/Until they bury you six below/Live long enough to tell your sons/Things you learned when you were young/So maybe I can have some self-control.”
When I ran into him, I applauded the performance, and then added that when your band inevitably starts a fan club, the members should be called “flippers” and when someone gets turned onto your music for the first time, it should be said that he or she “flipped” or were “flipped by a flipper.”
He laughed and said, believe it or not, someone has already suggested those very ideas.Share on social media